Born in Rochester, N.Y. to landscape painter C.P.Gruppe, Emile was educated with a very strong artistic background. Trained at the Hague, Netherlands, the Art Students League in New York, and the National Academy of Design, he also studied under such artists as George Bridgeman, Richard Miller, Charles Chapman and John Carlson with whom he founded Gruppe Summer School in Gloucester.
Gruppe's modern impressionist style owes much of its influence to Claude Monet. He is best known for his variety of impressionistic landscapes, but he also painted figures and portraits. With his permanent studio located in Gloucester, Massachusetts, he found the opportunity to portray many appealing waterfront scenes as well.
His creative output was broken only during the first World War when he served in the United States Navy which surely aided his capability at handling sea paintings. A prolific career that spanned over sixty years brought him numerous awards and memberships.